Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Knit-A-Long Karma

Last night was another great Purly Girls night. Sitting between Speed Picker (a.k.a Rebecca) and Speed Knitter (a.k.a. Carrie), they both admitted that their grommets for our KAL grommet bag turned out horribly and they struggled in vain with them. The concerned friend and knitter that I am, I asked them what exactly did they do for their grommet installation. They told me. And I laughed. I laughed some more. A few others joined in. They weren't using the proper grommet tools. So, being the great friend that I am, I explained to them the error of their ways and offered my assistance - once I stopped laughing of course.

But despite all the crap that put up with as the "last one to finish the knitting," I still triumphed through. I'd like to treat those of you keeping tabs on this once-vicious KAL to a blurb from a recent e-mail I received from Carrie:
"I have new respect for your strength, Meg. I have failed at installing a single double-thickness grommet....Rest assured you retain the felted bag queen title even if it did take you a while to knit it."

And tonight, it all came full circle as I put in Rebecca's grommet for her. Take a look at her beautiful bag (um...be advised if you are reading this with young children, this isn't exactly what she's calling the bag.)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Swatch Saga

Tank top from One Skein:
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace
Size 8 needles
I didn't even try to swatch with the 8's - I knew I'd be too loose.
Size 7 - Way too loose
Size 6 - Still too loose
Size 3 - Way too tight
Size 4 - To loose
Back to size 3 - Not as loose as before, but tighter than the size 4 swatch.
Now, I'm just going for it. To hell with fighting for the correct gauge. I'm aiming for somewhere close to the vicinity. Stay tuned. I plan to cast on and start charging forward - correct gauge de damned - tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The woes of a loose knitter

This weekend I checked out the One Skein Trunk Show at Weaving Works. I wanted to see for myself the tank top sweater that I've already spent the money on, have been talking about for weeks and have already failed miserably at trying to find the right gauge for (twice now). So I checked it out. I touched it. I examined it. And I thought, "Damn, those are tight, small stitches." I am a loose knitter. A very loose knitter. I just went a head and purchased a size 4 and 3 needles for my next attempt at the gauge (I think the original pattern calls for a size 7). I am a little frightened of the frailty of the yarn and the tininess of the needles. I asked a sales lady if she had any tips on how to knit tighter. I told her my predicament and she just looked at me and said, "Ya, it sounds like you're a loose knitter." Thanks.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Take that Speed Picker and Knitter!

Ah Ha! Speed Picker and Speed Knitter (a.k.a. Rebecca and Carrie) may have knitted circles and rows and rows around me, but I triumphed! I finished the Hobo Grommet bag today! I hammered in the grommets for the strap and am still working on the design of the grommets to go on the bag. Although, I'm diggin' just the way it is and may call it good! I really like how it turned out, despite a few snags in the pattern and that fact that the "knit along" was really more like a "knit-as-fast-as-we-can-while-Meg-is swamped-with-work/vacation/moving/job interviews." Yes....good times...good times. Shall we see how many days it takes them to finish their bags? Any bets?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Training and it's toll

Training for the Danskin is swinging into full gear. After a few weeks of procrastinating and complaining about the training, I decided I needed to get over that crap and get a new attitude. I did. Now I have a new mantra: "I am the training." I feel very good about training, the running, biking and swimming. Although, it's coming at a price. My knitting. After working, then training, I'm usually too tired to pick up the needles and knit. I'm chalking it up to still struggling with finding my knitting inspiration. That and I haven't had a chance to buy smaller needles for the tank top sweater. I'm thinking after a good week of training, a trip to the knitting store is in store for me!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Discovery something new about me

So I know I'm bad at math. Not anything new. I've been bad at math since the multiplication chart of second grade. Things got worse in fifth grade when long division entered the picture. It was all down hill from there. Don't even get me started on algebra and geometry (actually that one wasn't that bad thanks to Mr. Burt of Osbourn Park High in Manassas, Va.) but you get the picture. I discovered something else I'm bad at this past weekend: estimating yarn lengths.
Example A:

In an effort to double the yarn throughout a pattern, I thought I'd just estimate when I was about halfway through winding the skein, then cut it off and start over. Didn't work out so well. And it seems to have tainted the project. As of yet, I've tried two size of needles and I'm still not matching with the gauge. I'm just such a loose knitter I'm really struggling with the fine yarn (it's Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in peach) and small needles. But I need the challenge. I'm making the tank top sweater from One Skein. Now I'm going to attempt the swatch on a size four. If I have to go any smaller, I seriously believe, at the rate that I knit, that I'll have the sweater done by August - 2008.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Finding inspiration

In my quest to be inspired, I tucked my latest knitting project in my work bag with the hopes of finding some knitting time in the busy workday. My latest project, a basic rolled hat from Last Minute Gifts, is just a no brainer that I need right now. Plus I'm so in love with the color, pistachio from Lambs Pride Bulky. (A photo to come soon). During the lunch hour today, the city of Seattle sponsored an acoustic band to perform in City Hall. A trio from the Ian McFeron Band was so wonderful! The band is a folk/country/blues mix and they were fabulous! It wasn't the whole band, just Ian on guitar, a woman on violin, and a guy with a drum/bongo type thing (bad description, but trust me - so fabulous)! I just sat there, soaked in the music and knitted away. It was the perfect break for my day and just what I needed to jump start the knittin'.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thank you.

I just want to write to say thanks. Thanks to my fellow knitters out there who love to knit, love to blog and love to share their creativeness with anyone willing to listen, read or perhaps "accidentally" corner someone while you report your weekend knitting escapades. I needed this. I've been in another knitting funk - again. I'm beginning to think I might need therapy or a weekly trip to the yarn store to get out of this as it is my second or third bout this year. I've made a few yarn purchases lately, but that hasn't seemed to help. (See, it's getting serious!) But now, I've just sat back, relaxed and taken a virtual tour through your blogs. I've checked on your progress - some good - some encouraging - some down right funny. And for that I say thank you. I feel inspired by your desire, yearning - dare I say compulsive - addiction to pick up the needles and once again go through that rhythmic motion of two needles and a strand of beautifully colored yarn. From what begins as a ball of wool, mohair, cotton or a blend, turns into the most beautiful creations for you, your loved ones and even strangers. Some times, I guess what a girl in a funk needs, is a little encouragement from a fellow knitter with a blog.
(P.S Be sure to check back on my knitting improvements and feel free to nag if you don't see any.)